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Sushi and spice

July 13, 2006|Leslee Komaiko

Diners in these parts love their spicy tuna rolls. But there are other ways Japanese restaurant chefs turn up the heat.


SHU (Sushi House Unico)

Seared yellowtail sashimi topped with slices of jalapeno and deep-fried tuna and asparagus roll with a miso mustard sauce are among the offerings at this 5-month-old looker located midway between the Westside and the San Fernando Valley. Italian restaurateur Giacomino Drago is one of the owners, and Kenny Yamada, a Katsu-ya veteran, is behind the bar.

* Sashimi, $15.50; tuna roll, $12.80. 2932 1/2 Beverly Glen Circle, (310) 474-2740.

Oki Doki

Once you get past the goofy name and mini-mall locale, there's a lot to like about this Costa Mesa sleeper, including some well-executed nouveau sushi creations (available at dinner time only) such as a spicy calamari roll, and a California roll that is topped with a piquant sauce and slipped into the oven until the crab center becomes warm and melty.

* Spicy calamari roll, $6; baked California roll, $6. 3033 S. Bristol St., Suite O, Costa Mesa, (714) 540-2066.

Shiki Restaurant

There's nothing subtle about the sushi served at this low-key spot tucked into the rear of a strip mall adjacent to the Sportsmen's Lodge. Portions are gargantuan, bordering on cartoonish. Consider the spicy scallop hand roll, a veritable cornucopia of zingy mayo-sauced scallops that could easily serve as lunch -- and then some.

* Scallop roll, $8.25. 12745 1/2 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 487-3938.


Toru Nagao, the chef at this popular Brentwood nook, does a number of salads. Among them is a white tuna salad made with albacore, mixed greens, radish sprouts, burdock root, cucumbers, asparagus and a mayonnaise-

based sesame dressing with just a hint of tongue tingle.

* Tuna salad, $8.50. 13050 San Vicente Blvd., L.A., (310) 451-7733.

Sushi Roku

Finely diced red and green jalapeno along with scallion and ginger add zing to the yellowtail sashimi served carpaccio-style with a touch of ponzu and olive oil at this perennial trendoid just east of the Beverly Center. Jalapeno also turns up in the popular rock shrimp tempura roll.

* Sashimi, $16; tempura shrimp cut roll, $9.50. 8445 W. 3rd St., L.A., (323) 655-6767.


-- Leslee Komaiko

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